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The Camp & Field Articles
by Theodore Wolbach
Cpl. Theodore Wolbach

Cpl. Theodore D. Wolbach

Web Author's Notes:

The following image is taken from a book titled "Mortality and Statistics of the Census of 1850" in which it is believed retired Captain Rezin H. Vorhes, Company H, pasted over the pages a series of articles written by Cpl. Theodore D. Wolbach, Company E, titled "Camp and Field" and published, by chapter, in the Holmes County (Ohio) Republican newspaper from February 24, 1881 to August 17, 1882. The articles tell the story, in great detail and color, of the 16th OVI, from the inception of the 3-year regiment in October, 1861, through all its camps, battles and marches until it was disbanded on October 31, 1864. The articles pasted in the Vorhes book cover the first 35 chapters, published through October 20, 1881. All the remaining chapters were recently found in a Holmes County library by researcher Rob Garber who obtained copies, performed the transcriptions and provided to this website and which are also presented here, thus providing the complete work by Theodore Wolbach.

Throughout these articles click on the underlined white text for additional details.

The webauthor thanks 16th Ohio descendant Rob Garber for his excellent research on the Camp And Field articles and for performing the tedious digital transcription of those articles found on each page. The transcriptions were made to reflect the original articles verbatim, misspellings and all. Rob is the 3rd great nephew of Capt. William Buchanan, Company F, 16th Ohio, who served in the 90-day regiment as a private, re-enlisting in the three year regiment, and eventually making the rank of Captain of Company F. Thanks Rob!

Page 3 - Chapters 2, 3 - November, 1861

Camp and Field

then as it was in years afterward, when he carried a French rifle and sabre bayonet. The field and line officers of the 16th were a highly attractive feature to the visitors at Camp Tiffin, particularly the ladies, who very soon, to their great pleasure, learned that the officers were almost all unmarried. In their brilliant uniforms, with shining epaulets, from the little scholarly resolute, McClure, to the towering, ferocious DeCourcey, they became the recipients of smiles and attentions that penetrated through the most studied indifference. Official dignity and military etiquette sometimes placed the incipient private in a very awkward position. It was required here that all written passes must be signed by Company Commanders and the Adjutant of the Regiment. To procure the signature of the Captain was not annoying, but it required some hardihood to approach the Adjutant, who usually required the strictest formality, and many a bewildered recruit salaamed and apologized for failing to salute or uncover his head in that awful presence. A beardless stripling on a particular occasion procured a pass and went to the Adjutant's tent for the coveted signature. Finding the dignitary busily engaged over a report, he stepped to the inside of the tent ad took a seat, which was no sooner done when he received a sharp command from the Adjutant to stand up and remain in that position until his pass was signed, as no private was permitted to sit while transacting business in that tent. The stripling stood up, chagrined and mortified in spirit, and when he passed from the tent remarked that the Adjutant never need sign any more passes for him, and we believe he never did.

The time gradually approached at which we were to leave Camp Tiffin. Rumors ran through camp that we were to leave in a few days. Final good-by's were uttered by departing visitors; sad faces turned from the busy camp; brothers and sisters, wives and parents, began to realize that the boys were soon to leave for the Sunny South land; surplus baggage was removed from camp; soldiers on leave of absence were called in, and the men were practiced in striking tents by a signal from the drum. Few men of that camp will

ever, while they live, forget that cloudy, cheerless November day, when we broke camp and formed that long blue line in the road, and started for the Wooster depot to embark for Camp Dennison. From the northern verge of the good town of Wooster, all the way to the railroad, our march was greeted with cheers and shouts, and waving flags and handkerchiefs. A vast multitude of men and boys, in their wild enthusiasm, surged and crowed [sic] around us. As we neared the depot the crowd increased. When we had entered the cars they rushed to the car windows for a final hand-shake and good-by.

Long that train stood there at the Wooster Depot, with the 16th O.V.I. aboard. Sad faces, and heavy hearts lingered, to wave the last farewell to the boys in the cars. In the dusk of evening, when lamps were lighted throughout the city, the engine ahead whistled and panted, the train began to move, a loud yell burst from the excited crowd, which was answered back by the departing regiment.

There is a rumbling roar, we are crossing a bridge, another, and still another, and so on, till the fourth is passed, and the lights of the city are crowding away into the distance, the windows are closed, and the boys settled down to an all night ride.

Euchre, seven up, singing and conversation, afterward slumber in grotesque positions imaginable, in the well filled cars. Now and then a short stop at a station for water, or to switch off for another train, brought a portion of the boys out to shiver awhile in the chilly night air.

Published in Holmes County Republican
March 10, 1881


Camp Dennison---Cincinnati---Dixie Land--Arrival at Lexington, Ky.

Camp Dennison is reached; some of the barracks we are to occupy, are roofless and without bunks. The weather is misty and cold, and we occupy the unfinished buildings with no relish; carpenters are busy at work and in a few days our quarters become more comfortable.

A detail is made for the cook houses which were built (one for each company) on the rear, and a few feet from the barracks. Having previously received only fatigue suits, we now had dress coats and pants issued to us; drill and fatigue duty was the order of the day while we sojourned in Camp Dennison; Kennett's 4th O.C. occupied the barracks next to us on the south. Horses had been issued to them, and some unpleasantness took place between us because they insisted on riding across our parade ground, which was strictly prohibited by our colonel. On one particular occasion, the calvary [sic] while returning from drill about a half a mile north of our quarters, formed in column and came tearing forward at a gallop, evidently intending to cross our parade ground in that order, but a little streamlet that had worn a deep bed in the sandy soil lay in their way and checked and disordered their column, and but a few reached our parade ground to dash across with the dirt flying at their heels.

In a few days the calvary [sic] received marching orders and left for Kentucky, and in the years that followed made a grand record.

The 54th O.V.I. Zouaves occupied the barracks vacated by calvary [sic], and proved congenial neighbors. Our sick list at Camp Dennison was large,

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